62-year old Willem Dafoe has been in the industry for decades, crafting his work in dramas, action blockbusters, thriller, horrors and almost anything that takes his fancy. But it is clear the veteran has a liking for the superhero world, suiting up for the DC feature Aquaman that drops in 2018.
Playing the role of Nuidis Vulko, a chief scientific advisor for the underwater community of Atlantis, Dafoe will be switching from a supporting antagonist to portray to one of the good guys. As he opened up to Collider about this Warner Brothers extravaganza that falls under the DCEU banner, he could not help but liken the picture to Sam Raimi's classical Spider-Man franchise where one filmmaker would enthuse the entire cast and crew with child-like passion.
A Vision of Fantasy and Imagination That Everyone Buys Into
Fronting the villain Norman Osborn a.k.a. Green Goblinfor the 2002 hit Spider-Man before reprising the character in hallucinations across the following two sequels, Dafoe understands what it is like adapting a beloved comic book story. In this respect, the actor argues that Aussie director James Wan is the ideal candidate to translate the fun they had on set to the big screen.
"I think I may have even signed on before James Wan was on board, but he's great. I agree, his enthusiasm is fantastic. In fact, his enthusiasm reminds me, very much, of Sam Raimi's enthusiasm, to make a connection there. When I made Spider-Man with Sam Raimi, one of the most impressive things was that it didn't feel like an industry film. It felt like a personal film. It felt like Sam Raimi was getting to fulfill a fantasy of his. He was so connected to that Spider-Man mythology that he really infused it with great love and great playfulness, and I love that. James Wan is very similar."
Having a background with horror in The Conjuring and Saw franchises, Dafoe says that Wan is a man on a mission - formulating exactly what is in his mind to real life.
"The other thing about James Wan that's so impressive, and I think you can see it in his movies, is that he's very precise. He really knows exactly what he wants, which is particularly a great asset when you're making a movie that's so technologically complicated. He can be very clear, and it's fun to play the game of having him give you an ask and trying to satisfy that ask. He gives you some things to play with and a good story."
Ryuk Is Playing With Light In Deadly Game of Cat and Mouse
Despite a string of poor reviews, the 2017 Netflix production of Death Note was a win in the column for Dafoe who many critics saw as an adaptation saved by the Wisconsin native. Playing the devilishly evil antagonist Ryuk, Dafoe told Collider that his character has no grand scheme other than toying with the young boy Light.
"Ryuk is a character that reminds me of the undead, where they have a special condition in how they exist," he outlined. "Ryuk has the power to do many things. He’s a magical character, but having all of that magic doesn’t exactly turn him on because it’s his normal. So, he has to go someplace else to get his pleasure, to be amused, and to feel good. He’s amused by humans. To lay this Death Note ability onto Light is to play a game. It engages him. Not only does he get amused by the deaths, but he also gets amused by the way Light struggles. It’s fun for him. It’s a drama for him. He’s being creative. He’s taking part in a story that he’s making. His relationship with Light is half mentor and half tormentor. It’s half puppeteer and half companion."
Death Note is out now for Netflix subscribers, while Aquaman premieres in the US on December 21, 2018.